The Global New Car Assessment Program found Nissan’s midsize truck offering severely lacking in the safety department.
This isn’t the sort of result you want to see when you crash your new truck, is it? Yet this is a truck on sale, right now, in South Africa. It’s called the Nissan NP300 Hardbody, and it was subjected to a crash test as part of the Global New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). The results weren’t exactly flattering: the test found Nissan’s midsize pickup to be spectacularly unsafe. And that’s not going over the top either: it scored a zero star rating.
What does scoring a big fat goose egg in crash safety testing look like? Check out the video below:
At 64 km/h (about 40 mph), the ironically-named Hardbody crumpled all the way back to the C-Pillar. The front of the passenger compartment deformed while the driver’s head glanced off the airbag and slammed into the door trim. The passenger fared a little better, but that dummy still smashed into the windshield at alarming speed, and the dummies in the back didn’t fare much better.
Global NCAP posted a summary following the video:
“The NP300 ‘Hardbody’ achieved an alarming zero star rating for its poor adult occupant protection mainly in the driver head and chest areas in the frontal crash test at 64km/h. The vehicle structure collapsed during the crash test and it was rated as unstable. The steering wheel column did not collapse penetrating the passengers’ compartment, creating an additional risk for the driver as it moved straight into the dummy chest. This performance showed a significant risk of injuries for the driver despite the car being equipped with double frontal airbags. The high probability of life threatening injuries to the driver’s head and chest resulted in the zero star adult occupant protection rating. Even with an airbag the driver’s head and chest showed high biomechanical readings. The NP300 ‘Hardbody’ achieved two stars for child occupant protection, the low result is mainly explained by the decision of the car manufacturer to install one of the child seats without following child seat manufacturer clear instructions.”
According to South Africa’s TimesLIVE, a Nissan South Africa spokesperson stated that “the safety of our customers is Nissan’s top priority.” By comparison, the U.S.-market Nissan Frontier fared much better, although it scored “Marginal” in IIHS testing.
The Nissan NP300 Hardbody isn’t sold in the United states, but this goes to show how far some emerging markets have to come in terms of safety.